Overweight and Obesity

When your body weight is in relation to your height is in a range that is considered unhealthy, three terms are used to describe the condition. They are overweight, obesity, and morbid obesity. These conditions are determined by your body mass index (BMI). There are charts that show this for corresponding weights and heights. A normal BMI is 18.5 to 24. Under 18.5 is underweight. A BMI of 25 to 29 is considered overweight. Thirty and over is obese. Whatever your body does, it uses energy. You expend energy even while you are sleeping. However, some activities expend more energy than others. When you eat and in some cases drink, you consume calories. If the amount of calories consumed is more than the amount of energy expended, you gain weight. Some people expend more energy than others even when involved in the same activities. So they can eat more and still not gain weight. It was formerly assumed that any overweight person lacked self-discipline however scientists are finding out now that many other factors may be involved. Recently genes have been discovered that contribute to obesity. Scientist are now hoping that treatments can be developed that will control these defective genes.

Eating habits can also be influenced by psychological factors. Many people practice binge eating when they are bored, sad, or angry. But willpower is still a factor. Your lifestyle, choice of food and the exercise you engage in all work together to determine your weight. Regardless of the causes, obesity has serious consequences. Obesity increases your risk of contracting diabetes, heart disease,some types of cancer, and . high blood pressure. Obesity also increases your vulnerability to a stroke. Men who are overweight are more susceptible to prostrate cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, gallbladder disease, gall stones, osteoarthritis, and gout. Women who are overweight are more vulnerable to cancer of the breast and uterus, in addition to the diseases that affect overweight men.

The distribution of fat on the body also affects the risks of being overweight. Men usually accumulate fat around their abdomen.
Women collect fat around their hips and buttocks. But when fat is centered around the abdomen, both men and women are more susceptible to the diseases mentioned above. The ideal treatment for obesity is a combination of a healthy diet and exercise. Weight loss should proceed at a slow steady rate and involve a permanent change of eating habits. However, this does not always work for many people. In these cases medication, behavior modification and surgery are also options. However, an obese person should always have their weight loss plan approved by a doctor. In particular, never attempt a weight loss program based on a liquid formula without consulting a doctor. This type of diet is very dangerous.

There are many fad diets, weight loss programs and weight loss pills advertised in the media. Many are ineffective and some are actually dangerous. Practically all weight loss medications have side effects.
Your doctor can assist you in tailoring a safe individual plan that will be effective and meet your needs.

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